I finally got around to doing some studying today. Before I could do anything serious I had to tidy my writing table of at least a month's accumulated paper (not helped by the cats running riot over it and knocking stuff on the floor on a regular basis). That included tidying the pens, index markers, notebooks, envelopes, hole punches, seed catalogues, CDs. No doubt I would have sharpened all of my pencils to killer points as a further distraction had I thought of it.
I was reminded of Colette's father, probably because the Woman's Hour story this week is Cheri. After his death, she discovered that the beautifully bound books purporting to contain tales of his escapades as a zouave captain were, in fact, completely empty. He clearly enjoyed the rituals of writing, rather than the fact. I know the feeling.
My own pretence took other directions. I looked at the Seeds of Italy catalogue and made a note, for the second time, of the radicchio, beans and squashes I wanted.
I admired the tidiness of my table over a cup of tea or two.
I kept watch over the street, with a cat for company.
Then, as it got dark, I thought that soon the evenings would be lighter and warmer, so I should remind myself of how nice it is to have a night indoors in the warm before I finally settled down to some serious database mining. And writing this.